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Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia announce aviation biofuel partner shortlist

Airline alliance partners Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have announced the findings of their investigation into commercially viable biofuel sources within Australasia. The air carriers will now work with short-listed companies on strengthening the commercial case for investment.

An Air NZ Boeing 767-300 aircraft that operates on some of its Australia and Pacific Island flights (photo courtesy Air NZ).

An Air NZ Boeing 767-300 aircraft that operates on some of its Australia and Pacific Island flights (photo courtesy Air NZ).

In March 2016, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) to the market to investigate options for aviation biofuel produced in Australasia. The airlines have now completed an extensive review of more than 30 responses received from organisations in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and Europe and will now work with short-listed companies on strengthening the commercial case for investment.

– The RFI has helped stimulate industry dialogue on the production of sustainable aviation fuel in the Australasian region. Importantly, the process has also greatly expanded our understanding of the technologies and processes involved and the potential timeframes to scale up to the volumes required, said Air New Zealand Head of Sustainability Lisa Daniell in a statement.

– There is clear interest and potential to produce sustainable aviation fuel in this region, and we will now undertake further detailed exploration in order to reach significant commercial scale. We remain optimistic about the potential of biofuel to achieve significant carbon emissions reductions in the medium-term, said Virgin Australia Head of Sustainability Robert Wood.

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